Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM
MELDING MOLECULAR PHYLOGENY WITH MORPHOLOGICAL STUDIES: EXAMINING THE GALATHEOIDEA (DECAPODA: ANOMURA)
Recent research into the phylogeny of the Galatheoidea—squat lobsters—has shown a much greater level of diversity both in the fossil record and the modern world than previously thought, with the recognition of several new families and additions of multiple new species. These new phylogenetic insights have come mainly from the study of modern galatheoids, but fossil evidence shows that their high diversity extends at least into the Late Jurassic. These recent studies have lent greater evidence to the conclusion that the current systematic classification of the Mesozoic galatheoids is often unsatisfactory at both the generic and family level and is in strong need of revision. Although many of the recent conclusions have been reached through the use of molecular phylogeny on the extant taxa, many of the families within Galatheoidea can be easily separated using only dorsal carapace characteristics. Details of groove patterns, rostral shape, and ornamentation are particularly significant. Classifying the fossil galatheoids by using the overlapping characteristics between the modern and fossil galatheoids should provide a much stronger and more accurate phylogeny for the species and genera within the families of the Galatheoidea, despite the absence of genetic information in the fossil record. Museum and field work supported by NSF EF0531670 to Feldmann and Schweitzer.